Wheels of Fire: Autobiography of Ari Seirlis

A story of courage, triumph over adversity and civil action, Wheels of Fire journeys W through the life and adventures of Ari Seirlis

Rolling Inspiration
By Rolling Inspiration
4 Min Read

A story of courage, triumph over adversity and civil action, Wheels of Fire journeys W through the life and adventures of Ari Seirlis

Well-known disability activist and former QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) CEO, Ari Seirlis has documented his life in Wheels of Fire. The autobiography takes the reader through all the various chapters of Ari’s journey. From his youth spent in Ladysmith, his schooling and army days to his spinal injury in 1985 that propelled him towards his career with QASA.

Ari shares many of his personal revelations in the book including how he came to terms with the lifelong inevitability of using a wheelchair during the long period of clinical rehabilitation after his injury – the darkest time of his life. Readers can look forward to reading about his successes with creating innovative and sustainable funding opportunities for non- profit organisations; and his encounters with some incredible figures including Christopher Reeve and Nelson Mandela.

“With honesty, humour, and self-reflection, he takes readers through the wonderful highs and desperate lows of his life in this moving and inspiring story. A must read to inspire you to think beyond the box and cope with adversity,” the book jacket reads. We sat down with Ari to learn more about his motivation to write an autobiography and what he learned from the experience.

Rolling Inspiration: What inspired you to write an autobiography?

Ari Seirlis: In my 60th year, I was approached by a few people who know me well and encouraged me to write my book. I wasn’t intending on writing a book. But, then changed my mind and thought it would be a 60th gift to myself to pen down some of my memories.

RI: What was the experience like of writing about your life?

AS: I slowly discovered my past and my memory kicked in. The experience was quite cathartic and I really enjoyed it. There were some days when I couldn’t write a word and other days when I wrote for hours and hours.

RI: Have you learned anything about yourself during the experience?

AS: I learned so much about myself. Mostly how privileged I was and what a generous upbringing I had from parents who wanted only the best for me. I missed some opportunities and have some regrets. These I acknowledge openly.

RI: What do you hope others will learn or gain from reading the autobiography?

AS: The value of resilience; and it’s okay to get something wrong. The book also gives a good account of how social enterprise and sweating your assets can build your non-profit organisation’s sustainability. Furthermore, maybe there is a message of what goes around, comes around.

RI: You’ve achieved so much and worn many hats. What do you hope for the next chapter? 

AS: I would like to make a small impact in the Sedgefield community, but most importantly, enjoy the rest of my life stress free, and in good health.

The autobiography is R250 with delivery at R50. If you would like to purchase a copy, you can download the order form by clicking here. Readers who would like to get a taste of what to expect in the autobiography can read more about Ari’s career with QASA here; or read about the impact fly fishing had on his life here

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